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October 29, 2021

What is Local Search Marketing?

October 29, 2021
When you’re looking for a bakery that sells freshly baked bread, someone who can repair your cracked screen on your phone, or your car is in need of a proper wash, what do you do? You take up your phone and Google it.
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Picture this: It's 11:30 in the morning and you're hungry.

What do you do? Do you walk around your neighbourhood and start knocking on doors, asking for food? No. You don't do that (although, to be fair, you might make some rad new friends that way). You instead do what 93% of people do: you get out your smartphone and search locally.

A few seconds later, you've found a pizza restaurant a couple of blocks away. A few minutes later, you're there and you're eating. Problem solved... not just for you, but the pizzeria, too. They worked on their local search marketing so that you'd be able to find them as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Curious to know how you can rock your own market by getting to the top of your local listing? You should be! Here's some local search stats for you: 

  • 69% of digital traffic is local. (Source)
  • 93% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. (Source)
  • 2.6 seconds is the amount of time most people spend looking at search page before making a decision. (Source)

If you're a local business, you need to get connected to the online world. And in the modern world, your future customers are looking for you through search engines on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops.

Sounds interesting. Tell me more about local search marketing! 

Local search marketing is a strategy that targets customers within a certain radius of a physical store or business. Essentially, it is all about targeting an audience that is based in the same area as your business. In slightly more corporate language. it's a type of search engine optimisation that helps local businesses show up in search results.

The best part about this is that local search marketing works for everyone, no matter how big (or small) your business is. Enterprise brands, large chains, and single-location businesses all work alike online by making sure customers who are looking for the product or service you provide find your business at the top of their search results. 

Some fun facts about local search... 

👉 "Near me" searches have doubled in the last 2 years (Source)

👉 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device result in either a call or visit to the business within 24 hours (Source)

But hey, what about social media?

What we do at Mobal isn't social media. It's straight-up LSM: local search management. Most companies forget about one of the essential steps in digital and local marketing: optimising their search rankings and presence on Google. In other words, most local businesses forget to do local search marketing.

Social media is a whole different arena. While having a good social media presence helps solidify your brand in the minds of your customers, it won't be the first thing that pops up when they look for you on a search engine.

Unless you go massively viral, the number one thing that'll drive people through your door is your online business listing.

Using Mobal to go local

Or: how to stop worrying and learn to love your local Google-bot

I can make it easy for you to learn to love your Google-bot. Here:

46% of all searches on Google have local intent

Local search is when a person is searching for a business, product, or service near them or in a specific location. The search results then display a list of three businesses below Google Maps that Google believes are the best match for the searcher, based on the ranking factors. These three listings make up the 'Local Pack' on Google. If you're a business and you want to make a splash locally, this is the pack you want to be in.

The 'Local Pack' and your Google Business profile are the best way to strengthen your visibility online and engage with a local audience. A well-optimised business listing that shows up in a search's local pack is a solid competitive advantage since it puts your business before your competitors. 

🇬🇧 TLDR; This one's for our UK audience. If a customer is standing in Shoreditch and wants fish and chips, they probably don't want results from Swindon. Local search marketing strategies help your business get to the top of your customer's most relevant local searches.

What matters most for local search marketing? 

Here's some good ways to make sure you rise in the local searches: 

  • Frequently updating your Google Business listing
  • Making sure your NAP information (Name, Address, Phone number) is correct
  • Being in the 'Local Pack'
  • Sharing local-specific content
  • Having good, recent reviews

You might be reading all of this and feeling a little overwhelmed. Don't be. Most 'Local Marketing' jargon (and most marketing language in general, tbh!) is just different ways of saying "treat others how you'd like to be treated." 

Having said that, let's drive home everything we've learned on this page with a hard sell...


Monitor your business listings with Mobal

Mobal is a business listing tool focused on local search, with the primary goal of helping you show up in search results online and monitoring your business listings effortlessly.  With Mobal, you can optimise your business’s digital footprint in the local search ecosystem by sharing local offers, answering reviews, and keeping your NAP information up to date. This way you'll show up higher in the search results, leading to more potential customers that find and choose your business over your competitors.  

There are, of course, several factors that affect and influence your visibility online, and local search marketing continues to change and grow. Google changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times every year.

By using Mobal to optimise your listings, you can keep on top of your local marketing strategy. By simply putting a modicum of effort into your local search marketing, you'll be able to serve more customers in your specific region and, by that, acquire more customers and grow your business faster. 

A quick glossary

What is 'NAP+W' information?

NAP+W is an acronym for name, address,  phone number, and website. These three pieces of information make up the base and core of your business information in the local search marketing world. The wrong NAP information can mislead your customers and cost you revenue. Also, if search engines encounter inconsistent NAP information, they'll become less trusting, and as a result, your business will rank lower in search results. 

What is a 'review', anyway? 

Reviews are comments left by your customers on your online business profiles, and reviews are considered to be one of the most influential ranking factors for local businesses online. Over 90% of people read reviews online. Reviews have a significant impact on the trustworthiness of your business. Every local business should have a strategy to encourage visitors and customers to leave a review.

We encourage you to download our Review Guide by clicking this very sentence. With the Review Guide, you can learn how you can get your customers to leave more reviews, as the number of reviews and the rating can directly affect local search rankings.

What is a 'category' in this context, and why does it matter?

Choosing the right business category in your business listings is crucial. If your business profile is in the wrong category, your business will not show up when customers are looking for the products or services that you provide. Read more about choosing the right category for your business here. 

... and what is 'local ranking'?

Additionally, according to Whitesparks' study on local ranking factors, the keywords listed in your homepage's title, the completeness of Google Business listings, and the quality of the inbound links to the associated domain, and the keywords in the native Google review have a significant impact on how your business ranks on Google.

To wrap it up...

A strong presence on Google and a local SEO strategy are the keys to driving more people to your business, whether you have a few hundred locations or just one.

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